Ed pledges to cap rent rises, extend standard tenancies & scrap fees

(136 Posts)
thevelvetoverground Wed 30-Apr-14 22:57:39

"At Labour's local and European election campaign launch tomorrow, he will pledge to cap rent rises and to extend the standard tenancy period from six months to three years. As well as this, he will commit to banning letting agent fees, promising to save the average new household £350."


WetAugust Thu 01-May-14 00:42:06

Ed will kill the BTL market stone dead, forcing landlords to sell their properties, whivh will result in a glut of properties on the market, causing a house price crash.

Is that what Ed wants?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 01-May-14 01:04:01

How can he cap rent rises? Private landlords can charge what they like, provided someone is prepared to pay.

The man is an idiot.

thevelvetoverground Thu 01-May-14 01:08:57

WetAugust: why do you think that would happen? Wouldn't a lot of landlords like long term tenants?

"How can he cap rent rises?" Laws can do that.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 01-May-14 01:13:09

'Laws can do that'.

This pretty much sums up the whole of what is wrong with a Labour government. They should not even be considering trying to legislate in a market in this way, it is crazy.

What next - farmers can't put their prices up? Supermarkets? Petrol stations? Train operators? Car manufacturers?

Fanjango Thu 01-May-14 01:18:26

From what I read it seems he is proposing a cap on only how much a landlord can raise the rent during a tenancy. I know people who have been made homeless after a rent rise of £150 pm on what had been a £550 rent. Raises like that are not on if you ask me. Tenants need safeguarding. They are not reintroducing fair rent officers or putting a max on rents.

thevelvetoverground Thu 01-May-14 01:18:45

The government already have quite a lot to do with the price and cost of things. There are farming subsidies. The government proposed a cap on rail fare rises last year. They decide fuel duty, so have some impact on price. Etc.

lessonsintightropes Thu 01-May-14 01:27:16

I actually think this is long overdue. And that some diminution in house prices is no bad thing in a situation where so few people can afford to get on the ladder. The pendulum has swung far too far in favour of the investor landlords and tenants have far too few rights.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 01-May-14 01:27:35

Farming subsidies are to do with ensuring that land is managed in a certain way, and that there is food for us all to eat.

Fuel duty has no impact on price, it is a tax pure and simple. The scrapping or not of any increase is merely a political tool.

Proposed cap on rail fares, which I think was promptly ignored.

If the proposal is just to cap an increase during a tenancy then that is one thing, but if it goes hand in hand with tenancies being increased to 3 years then that is another altogether. 3 years is a long time - what happens if interest rates rise during that time and the LL is paying more in interest on their mortgage than they are getting in rent? If I were renting I would set the rent much higher at the start of a tenancy to give myself leeway in case that should happen.

thevelvetoverground Thu 01-May-14 01:32:06

I agree lessonsintightropes.

Fanjango Thu 01-May-14 01:36:10

As far as I can see they are not saying no to rent increases, which would allow for interest rates, just a cap to prevent large increases.

Fanjango Thu 01-May-14 01:40:30

And I agree Lesson. I rented for many years and feared the call from the landlord asking for more money or, the worst, that they need the house back after all and you have 2 months. Not always an easy task when you have 4 kids and a school catchment to think about. Why should renting mean a transient existence, especially when more and more have to rent due to exorbitant house prices.

Rents should be in line with what the market can bear, not how much the landlords mortgage is though.

We haven't put our tenants rent up in 5yrs, when I enquirer about it recently with our property manager he advised against it as people were really struggling. Being reasonable people we took his advice. We could have pushed for another 50quid or so a month but may have our tenant leave and house unoccupied, not worth it really.

Fanjango Thu 01-May-14 01:46:53

If only all landlords took that approach! Sadly too many are all about fast money than long term steady money hmm

lessonsintightropes Thu 01-May-14 01:56:13

Fanjango that's exactly it - why should families have to move frequently to deal with the whims of LL? Not even the States allows such naked profiteering at the expense of tenant rights (BTL strongly discouraged through federal legislation). I understand and have some (but not much) sympathy with people who invest in BTL as an alternative to shares for a pension, but as someone who was personally made homeless 4 times in 5 years due to LLs selling up etc and having to bear the cost of moving and new fees each time think it's impossible. The presumption in favour of right to occupy is much more sensibly arranged in Europe, where in Germany for example if the LL has to sell, the tenant's rights are protected (and the property is then purchased with them in situ). If LL can't manage the vagaries of investment (instead of relying on such tight margins on BTL mortgages that they need to up rent if they have a financial problem) then they should exit the market. A good result all around. Apart from the poor LL who no longer make 16% margins on rental properties along with 12% capital gains here in London - my heart does not exactly bleed for them.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 06:32:03

Very interesting. It may help renters but it also reduces the advantages of buy to let very substantially, so should reduce house prices overall and help buyers who are currently priced out. In fact that will presumably start from today, because of the uncertainty now created about this form of investment. May also make buy to let mortgages more expensive by increasing the risk - you'll now have to prove grounds for ending the tenancy before 3 yrs rather than doing it at will, which is likely to make it slower to happen.

What happens if the ll wants to sell - does s/he have to wait three years?
The 6 month probationary period though - doesn't it give lls an incentive to throw out all tenants at 6 months?

Cue many newspaper articles saying oh no this will reduce the availability of rented property. Well yes, but that's because it will be being owner occupied instead. Good news for ftbs.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 07:09:51

Worth bearing in mind that they have rent controls in New York and Germany (as well as Venezuela, obviously!). I see that lls will be able to end the tenancy if they want to sell or need the property for family - so what, in theory, would lls be objecting to (if they did object, that is)?

TheHammaconda Thu 01-May-14 08:56:22

Our rent (Belgium) is only allowed to increase in line with inflation. Rental contracts are for a minimum of three years. We have more responsibility for maintaining the property and it's contents. Landlords can raise the rent at the end of the rental period. They also have a reputation for screwing tenants at the end of the contract with high charges for 'damage' to the property (think €10 for each window that hand't been cleaned on the outside or people being charged for watermarks on the inside of the dishwasher).

I don't have a problem with a government intervening in a market which is not allocating resources efficiently.

I'm a LL BTW. I want to have long-term tenants who would rent the property for a number of years.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 09:01:29

Will be interesting to see if the Cons announce something similar but different in a few months - assuming that the initial 'but this is like Venezuela!' response doesn't persuade people, that is!

I suspect this policy will be popular in the opinion polls, so likely that the Cons will have to respond in some way to help renters. The risk is that they will just do more nonsensical 'Help to Buy' type stuff which just pushes prices up and does nothing to help those who are renting.

SnowinBerlin Thu 01-May-14 09:23:12

The proposed ban on letting agents' fees for tenants is long overdue and follows the Scottish model which came in a few years ago. At the moment agents get paid by both sides for the same work, and rip off the tenants with extortionate charges.

I do think that 'rentiers' will have a huge influence at the next election and they've been neglected for far too long (and yes, both parties can be blamed for this). All the parties need to address this in their manifestos.

The initial Tory response is extremely disappointing. I don't think Grant Shapps has any idea about how precarious renting in the private sector is.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 10:01:07

Well, in voting terms I would have thought that there were more private renters than btl landlords (assuming that many private landlords have more than one property, and indeed many are companies owning a substantial number); plus the home-owning parents of renters, soon to be renters, anyone who wants to be a ftb soon, may also support the policy.

Although btl landlords may have more lobbying power than renters.

All the same, I think the Cons may recognise that something more than the Venezuela! response will be advisable.

thevelvetoverground Thu 01-May-14 10:07:58

And I'm sure some landlords would welcome the changes too. My parents have two flats they rent and want good tenants that stay for a long time. They would gladly play by these rules because they're decent people. They also have DC who rent so understand the flipside too.

We've seen it before with the bankers and others, but I really despise this "Let us behave how we want/badly or we'll screw you over another way/leave the country" type attitude. Well, I say go on then, leave... try it.

KissesBreakingWave Thu 01-May-14 10:33:09

Family business has something like fifty flats let out, and we purely despise the buy-to-let numpties. Tenants who've been through that mill come to us expecting all kinds of shenanigans and behave accordingly until they settle down.

The proposed changes will make not a jot of difference to how the professional housing providers do business. And the more bloody amateurs it drives out of the market, the better.

As for 'you can't intervene in markets with laws', that's purest horseshit. Without laws and the enforcement thereof, there'd be no market at all. You write the laws to shape the market to serve the society it's part of.

teaandthorazine Thu 01-May-14 11:19:00

The Venezuela response shows just how much of a shite the Tories give about those of us who can't afford to buy our own homes. Laughable.

I was pleased to hear about this proposal this morning. I live in privately rented accommodation in the south east. I'm lucky (so far) in that I'm being charged a reasonable rent which has only minimally increased in the 5 years I've lived here. My ll isn't greedy (though he is a bit tight with repairs) and I feel reasonably secure. However, that isn't the same as actually being secure and knowing that the roof over your head isn't just going to disappear.

The tenants in the flat below us (different ll) were given two months notice when they made the mistake of mentioning to their management agent that they were thinking - just thinking, mind! - of maybe moving out towards the end of the year. The agent passed this info onto the ll and notice duly arrived - my friends were devastated. It just doesn't make any sense.

Something has to change in the rental market. Frankly, I'd be happy to see an end to the 'BTL numpties' and a reduction in house prices. You know, so then maybe 40-something professionals in fulltime jobs with an above-average salary and a family to keep, like me, might have the tiniest chance of a bit of actual housing security. Too much to ask?

WetAugust Thu 01-May-14 11:39:56

No landlord is going to want to have to be locked into a longterm contract with their tenant. Many of these landlords are just renting to gave advantage of longer term house price increases or because interest rates are low., Once interest rates rise or house prices fall, they are quite likely to sell.

Something needs to be done about private sector rents, that I do agree.

Watching Homes Under The Hammer and seeing a landlord buy a wreck for �30,0000, spend a few thoushand to do it up and then rent it out for �650 a month is ridiculous. Some of the returns they are achieving are in the 12% range!

And who can afford �650 a month for a one bedroom flat outside London, or �1200 for a family home? What sort of salary would you need to have that amount nett and available to hand over as rent, in addition to all your other living expenses. If you have that sort of money available you could probably afford a mortgage - if you had the deposit.

It's even worse when you consider that in many cases it's the tax payer who is paying these obsencely high rents to house people on housing benefit.

We now have a rental housing sector that primarily relies on private small business landlords - hobbyists in many cases.

It's absolutely obscene.

WetAugust Thu 01-May-14 11:42:51

Meant to say...

But Milliband's blunt stick way of going about this is stupid.

He could stop mortgage tax relief on 2nd properties. landlords can claim mortgage interest as an expense - stop that. He could stop the allowances for wear and tear - they rent should cover that. He could add a purchase tax for 2nd properties and should certainly abolish any council tax relief for holiday homes. He could increase the capital gains tax on BTL proerties when they are sold.

There's lots he could do.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 11:51:12

Yes, wetaugust, I think the 3 yr tie in will put off particularly the 'hobbyists' (and I think you are right that is what they are - doubt that they make that much money really over the medium term). So they may indeed sell (and stop buying new properties, as well). But that is good news for would-be owner occupiers - it should cause prices to fall a bit, or at least slowdown the increase.

And a reduction in the number of rental properties won't make rentals go up if it is matched (as it should be) house for house by a reduction in the number of renters as the renters buy the properties. In effect it will just shift properties from rental to owner-occupied. The only way that doesn't work is if the properties are bought as second homes, not for letting; or just left unoccupied (as can happen. Owners don't want the hassle of tenants but hold on to the property for the capital gain. Probably not that common, but is reported to be happening in London particularly by foreign investors).

specialsubject Thu 01-May-14 11:56:22

ah, I see how the Scots do it now - tenants don't pay the agency fees. In England (as someone has said) both sides pay for the same work. So it looks like landlords will end up paying more. That may mean cheaper properties become not worth renting, so will be sold.

quote:' Landlords will only be able to terminate contracts with two months' notice if the tenant falls into arrears, is guilty of anti-social behaviour, or breaches their contract; or if they want to sell the property or use it for their family. Crucially, they will not be able to end tenancies simply to increase the rent.'

seems fair enough, IF the eviction clauses actually work and are robust. There are professional rogue tenants who keep their arrears just below the level to prevent eviction - if this comes in many landlords will want bigger deposits to protect against this.

In my area (nice place, lots of facilities, work, lovely countryside - but oh dear, too far to commute to London) the market rate for an immaculate two bed semi is just under £500 pcm. Charge more, no tenants. Property not immaculate or not as well located, charge less or no tenants. Increase the rent, tenant leaves. That is market forces and how it should be.

those who pay a fortune for a dump have only themselves to blame.

TV programmes lie. As do politicians. I don't trust promises from any of them.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 11:56:38

I agree WetAugust - he could, and that would be far more effective to shift properties back into owner occupation.

But I suppose this has the political advantage that it is a measure that can be presented as 'good news for renters' rather than criticised by Cons as 'a vicious and unwarranted attack on those poor unfortunate people, who just went into buy to let to try and get a pension and now they're about to retire and Labour wants to tax them more and destroy their plans, this is what Labour do if you try to better yourself. etc.'

The 'Venezuela' response in a way shows that - it is much harder for Cons to attack this measure, without appearing totally out of touch with renters.

specialsubject Thu 01-May-14 11:57:47

ps wear and tear allowance is only for furnished properties, not all rentals.

do get facts right before doing the anti-landlord whine.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 01-May-14 11:58:27

I don't see how it will force people to sell their houses tbh. maybe down south it is bad but here most lls own the homes out right and invested for the future not to make a quick profit.
Even without a profit there is no need to sell, its only those who got a buy to let mortgage and I'm not sure that's much of the rental property market, not here anyway.
Most stay long term as they have dc settled in schools and as long as they are good tenants the lls don't want to have to keep finding new tenants.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 12:08:27

It sounds as though it works well where you are morethan. In London less so, as rents are just so high and the insecurity is a problem here as well - lots of posts on other threads here about how difficult is to move a family on 2 months' notice.
I think btl is a significant part of the rental market in London and South East but I admit that's just my assumption! That's one of the things about this debate, it does rely on assumptions and that may not be correct.

However: even if lls don't have a mortgage, if the returns fall beyond a certain point some (not all) lls will sell because they can get a better return on the capital elsewhere. Not the hobbyists, but professional landlords. Specialsubject makes an interesting point - it may be the cheapest properties that are most likely to be sold because of these changes if they are currently the least profitable.

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 12:53:13

Wet August …we agree on something.

Until we start building more homes annually than the roughly 115,000 average over the last 20-years, whether social or not, this country has to rely on the private rental market to provide to homes to those that cannot, or will not buy, as in the rest of Europe – so to put fear of big government regulating after 2015, when our Mortgage/funding levels could be trending upwards can only discourage the builders, the investors and the agents NOW projecting forward, is politically irresponsible at best.

The cost of renting abuses have to be addressed, but the fundamental facts are that THE PRICE of a home and INTEREST RATE FUNDING cost are key to the viability of private renting, so if big government wants to impose their own formulas on landlords, they will just sell, reducing the stock of properties to rent.

This is what Labour left on supply/demand, and ‘controls’ to discourage the current rental stock isn’t the answer to the current cost of renting.


Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 13:05:58

I don't understand that Isitme (the second bit).

The amount of floor space will be the same. it is just that landlords will not get such a good return on renting out that floor space (to cut to the chase) so some will sell it. Assume they sell the floor space to owner occupier rather than another landlord. That means less floor space available to rent, but correspondingly fewer renters, as that floor space will now have been sold to an owner occupier thus taking that person out of the renting market (don't think I'm explaining this very well, but basically it has no effect on the housing stock if landlord sells to someone who owner occupies - same amount of housing, same number of people to live in it. The only way this doesn't happen is if people leave properties unoccupied, which can of course happen).

That is a very good point about new building though - hadn't thought about the discouragement to new building. But returns at the moment haven't prompted enough new building in London (which is where the huge shortage is) anyway, and some of that new building is being marketed directly to overseas investors (other threads!) So what I'm trying to say is that there is no evidence that the current system encourages enough new building anyway. The brakes on new building are not well understood, I think. (not lack of finance, because money to buy is there - see London!; not planning restrictions because there is lots of land with planning permission not being built on. Not poor returns because we're told btl has huge yields - (though does it really?) Has anyone ever properly been able to explain why there is not enough building?)

WetAugust Thu 01-May-14 14:02:13

do get facts right before doing the anti-landlord whine.

Where on earth do you get the idea I am anti-landlord. I am looking at a few possible BTLs for myself next week confused

I am merely commenting on the possible effect that Ed's big idea would have on the property market.

We don't know the detail but already we're getting things said like 'you can only move to terminate the rental if the landlord seeks to sell the property'. That's far more protection that a tenant currently has.

This uncertainty, coupled with more stringent mortgage eligilibty could kill the property market stone dead.

And I do believe we have a housing crisis in this country and I believe it's country-wide. There are just as many vacnat repossessed small terraces up north than there are unaffordable properties down south - probably more.

A young couple I know, both professionals, have had to return to leave rental to return to live with the parents as they simply could not service �800pcm for a house and have any hope of ever getting on the property ladder. That's when you know there is a crisis.

But if your nett population is increasing by 220,000 each year, as ours is, it's hardly surprising that something as scarce as housing is virtually unaffordable.

So are we going to build sufficient to house next year's nett 220,000 and the year after's?

Beastofburden Thu 01-May-14 14:10:10

But it still leaves the provision of rented homes to the private market. I would have hoped that Labour would have been thinking about building more council houses and flats. Especially as more 1 and 2 person homes are what's needed in social housing stock, apparently. Why would we want to pay rent through our support of the housing benefit system, when the same taxes could be spent on actually building homes for social housing?

It's weird, as individuals we aim to buy our own places and stop renting, but we dont want the government to do the same.

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 14:19:40

Iseenyou …. The ‘floor space’ that I am concerned about, hence gave a Shelter perspective that I found and provided, which has probably got worse, is that on the private rental properties available to rent and the affect on the rental sector should they sell.

I had read recently that major institutions like pension funds were looking to become Landlords, so that type of BTL interest WOULD stimulate more targeted building, but they will drop interest to provide if they think governments will cap anything, especially if the landlord is ‘institutional’ and seen as fair game.

“Labour's 'rent cap' row: how renting has grown, in charts”

“The charts and tables here show how property ownership is changing, who is renting – and for how much.”


“The subjects of renting and buy-to-let spark anger like few others and Labour's latest suggestion – that rent increases could be capped and minimum lengths of tenancies introduced – has added fuel to the controversy.”

“What are the facts behind Britain's growing army of renters? This graph, from the February 2014 English Housing Survey, shows that since 2005 ownership has been in decline relative to renting, which started to climb in 2000.”

“For the first time, according to this year's data, people renting from private landlords outnumbered social renters.”

dreamingofsun Thu 01-May-14 14:24:36

currently we charge our tenant a bit less than the market rate. if this comes in, when her next tenancy is signed we will increase the rent by as much as possible to take into account the fact that it won't rise during the tenancy - ie she will be paying more at the start than she would normally have done.

this assumes we continue as LL's though. If once we looked at the fine detail there was no way of evicting a bad tenant - ie someone who didn't show some respect to the propery - then there would be no point in continuing to a LL as it wouldn't cost in.

i'm sure in an ideal world there would be loads of good quality council stock built, ideally somewhere that didn't affect the greenbelt and everyone could live happily ever after. But where is all the money going to come from, apart from massive tax hikes i guess.

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 14:26:55

Beastofburden ... the government has run out of money for homes or nuclear power stations, we had our chance to plan/build in the decade to 2007 but spent money on other things.

I believe the coalition is allowing local authorities to borrow to build, but I don't know what the conditions and/or uptake is to-date.

We need the Private Sector to build for now and recent home starts were at pre late 2007 financial crash levels.

Miliband says "we'll build 200,000 new homes", but the detail is missing, like HOW?

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 14:29:02

"200,000 new homes A YEAR ...I forgot to add.

dreamingofsun Thu 01-May-14 14:33:46

isitme - he probably got confused with the 0's. Or he's just saying that now and hope everyone forgets if they get into power

Beastofburden Thu 01-May-14 14:38:57

isitme it is ridiculous, though, that we have money to pay rents via housing benefit every year but can't build houses. If the government cant increase borrowing a bit and set that against future reductions in housing benefit, who can? <shakes head>.

There's such a difference between the modest, one-house landlord who will need to move back in again one day (the "numpties" I guess) and a business. A business might cope with this as long as eviction for non-payment and trashing etc works well. But a private landlord will stop renting if they fear never getting their house back again. I know Ed hasn't specifically said this yet, but the flavour is there, that it might become compulsory to renew leases after three years even if you actually want out. That's going to reduce the stock a fair bit, I think.

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 14:47:50

Dreaming …. Funny enough Miliband has mentioned that 200,000 figure for a while now and that is the ballpark figure we need, but so far all I have seen him do is THREATEN the large home builders with taxes, just as they start to make a decent profit and increase building after the uncertainties of a financial and economic recession.

Local Authorities building is a major part of the answer but we need the will and the brains to finance the borrowing , (partially?) covered by the expected rents – taking advantage of the current record near low interest rates. BTW I was gob smacked recently to hear there is a massive shortage of bricklayers, as they’ve gone off and done other things.

“Britain is facing a housing disaster as it is one million homes short, warns new report”

“Britain is now one million homes short of meeting its housing needs – a decade on from the flagship Barker Review of Housing Supply.”

“The 2004 report by Kate Barker, commissioned by the then Labour government, found that 210,000 homes needed to be built each year to prevent a housing crisis.”

“The economist also set a more ambitious target of ‘improving the housing market’ and making property more affordable by building 260,000 homes a year.”

“But a follow-up report shows that an average of just 115,000 homes a year have been built since then – meaning the country is 953,000 homes short of one target and 1.45million short of the other.”

“The chronic shortage of homes has locked many youngsters out of the housing market with 3.35million 20-to-34-year-olds living with their parents – 790,000 more than when the Barker Review was published.”

I like how they did things in Quebec. If you were taking over a rental property and found out from the leaving tenant the amount they were paying in rent, this was the rent you paid. The LL couldn't up the rent to the new tenant. Also there were restrictions on how much the rent could be increased yearly (I thnk it was no more than 5%), and it had to be justified in detail by the LL.

For instance we paid 2700/mth rent on a place and as the LL had done significant works in maintenance, over 60k worth, and fixed our bathroom, she put up the rent. By 2%. As that is all she could justify. The bulk of the work was exterior maintenance which didn't affect our quality of living, and the bathroom was done on the cheap as the toilet was falling through the rotted floor and could not be put off.

Another scheme for people renting social housing was they paid in accordance to their earnings. If you had low income, you paid low rent, when you started earning well, you could stay in your social housing, but paid more rent. I like this scheme rather than the HB pit of despair the UK has dug for itself.

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 14:59:44

Beastofburden....I partly answered your question re the need of the government to build and I suspect housing was a major part of the 'infrastructure' Osbourne was talking about when 'probing' the Government Bond Market investors re appetite for a 50-year dated bond, when our 10-year yields were under 2%.

I don't know how far that got, but we need to use our current credit standing in the world (where we have ONE AAA rating out of the three main agencies, looking positive for upgrade) to borrow SPECIFICALLY for home building at the lowest interest rate we can - before Miliband takes us the French route to debt prosperity, which never worked and since reversed having been downgraded twice.

I suspect some local authorities have been more receptive (and understand the concept of *Collateralized Debt*) than others.

The global institutional investors currently buying dodgy European credits/bond again, would love it, whether partially government guaranteed or not. IMO

teaandthorazine Thu 01-May-14 15:16:54

those who pay a fortune for a dump have only themselves to blame

I'm not anti-landlord (as I said in my previous post, I'm pretty happy with mine, and only once in my twenty-year renting history have I had even a slight issue with a ll) but, specialsubject, your comment above is all kinds of wrong.

I live in the south east. It costs a fortune to rent here. Thing is...this is where I grew up. This is where my family and friends are. Where my elderly parents are. Where my son goes to school. Where I (and my dp, when he finishes his pgce and moves here) work. I work in the NHS, in a deprived part of south london. My dp will be a primary school teacher. Our life is here.

I'd like to think I make a contribution to society, living here, and I'm even arrogant enough to suggest that if all of the people like me and dp left, all the teachers and nurses and midwives and firefighters and shop assistants and cleaners and postmen and police, just because we'd be fools to 'pay a fortune for a dump'...well, the place would be pretty fucked, wouldn't it?

It's not enough to say, just move. It doesn't help anyone to say, you're an idiot for paying high prices. I wouldn't give a toss about not living near London. But London would, eventually, give a toss about living without me, and lots of others like me. Telling people that they're stupid for paying high rents is missing the point in spectacular fashion, and sounding pretty smug about it too.

Isitmebut Thu 01-May-14 15:28:45

Beastofburden ... the reason for going the Collateralized Debt route is we still have an £108 billion a year budget deficit, heading for £1,500,000,000,000 (£1.5 trillion) of national debt by 2015 - so as we are already paying around £32 billion of annual interest on the current £1.3 trillion, we need to look at other solutions.

By borrowing the 'Collateralized' way, the debt is 'off UK balance sheet' as in effect, the institutional investors that buy the Local Authority bonds FINANCING social home building, where the tenant RENTS pay the annual bond coupon/interest - assumes the balance sheet 'risk', even if there isn't much risk.

For the more astute amongst you, you might point out that this is similar to the Sub Prime crisis in America that triggered the over leveraged financial crash in 2007. lol

Hence the brains needed to ensure this borrowing, on nowhere near the scale as the $trillions in America that banks loaned to HOME BUYERS who only needed a pulse to qualify, so default rates grew - is better handled as the interest is paid here by those renting, not owning - therefore on any tenant default, the Local Authority at least still owns the home and the interest may get paid by Housing Benefit.

Given myself a headache now, going to lay down for while. lol

tiggytape Thu 01-May-14 15:54:35

I can imagine that any such move would be popular but could have huge unintended consequences:

- Initial rents would rise dramatically and almost overnight.
If you tell a LL that by law, he cannot raise the rent above certain limits for the life of the tenancy, it makes sense to set the rent nice and high to start with so as to minimise income lost from not being able to raise the rent later.

- Less rental properties available.
Some LL will calculate that if they cannot raise rents as required and have to suffer even more legislation and compliance, they do not want to rent the property out at all and will sell

- Price Fixing
If the rents cannot be increased more than the local "average" for the area, it isn't unthinkable that LLs will start charging more initially to drive up the local average and so pave the way for future rent increases for existing tenants.

Meddling in private pricing policy, doesn't usually succeed in any aim to cap prices but only serves to ruin supply or cause a whole host of new problems instead.

specialsubject Thu 01-May-14 16:03:55

no, I am not smug. I don't share your opinion. Not the same thing.

plenty of people move their lives for financial reasons. Some even get a better quality of life for it.

there are plenty of good properties for rent in this country. Renting a dump for a fortune because it is so damn essential to live in a particular area does not make sense. Complaining about it makes even less sense. Yes, there are bad landlords renting wrecks - so why not demand higher minimum standards from landlords? Can't see any sign of that.

now, I entirely agree that London is building a big problem because essential services workers are being priced out - but that is not the fault of the landlords. It is a long term issue, caused by lots of factors; selling off council houses, huge salaries for pointless jobs which inflates prices, foreign millionaires using the place as a tax shelter and many many others. I think London is grossly unsustainable and I wouldn't live there if I could. Perhaps if many others got out, there would be accommodation to spare - then ratholes would not have tenants?

I don't have the solution, but the endless 'screw the landlord, rich bastards' attitude annoys me as you can tell. Can't see anyone complaining about those who provide their mortgages, possibly because they don't have the visibility of a landlord.

I would not have a BTL if I could find an alternative home for my hard-earned money. But with inflation permanently high and savings rates so low, there are limited alternatives.

dreamingofsun Thu 01-May-14 16:05:53

tiggy - i agree. ref price fixing - this could also have an effect on housing quality - if LL's can only charge a certain level of rent, the way to balance the books would be to cut maintenance, hence reducing the quality

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 16:43:53

You see, this is what I don't understand. Why is it a problem if landlords sell - to someone who is owner occupying? It means one few property rented, one more owner occupied.

If we accept that owner occupation is a legitimate aim to promote (I realise some don't because they think we should be like 'Germany') then it is good, isn't it, if the proportion of rented properties goes down, and the number of owner occupied ones goes up? Private renting is good for some people - but at the moment we have a surplus of people who would like to buy but can't afford to so are forced to rent.

Building. Yes. Why hasn't the private sector done it so far? Interest rates very low since 2008; lots of demand; lots of land with planning permission.

wonderstuff Thu 01-May-14 16:55:18

I'm so pleased that Labour has announced this. I haven't voted for them since Iraq, but this will get me back. There needs to be a party standing up for working people who don't have inheritance or extremely high earnings, it's about time they started developing policies like this.

The shadow housing secretary was on R4 this morning and she was far from impressive, they do need to pay attention to detail and present themselves more convincingly.

wonderstuff Thu 01-May-14 16:57:17

Surely Tiggy ll are already charging as much as they can in initial rents, raise the price and you will struggle to get a tenant no?

morethanpotatoprints Thu 01-May-14 17:05:39

If anybody has the cash without needing a mortgage and can afford a trip up north you may be able to snag a bargain.
A terrace is going for between 45k and 80k depending on area and obviously state of repair etc..
LLs are good here and tenants are in general good. A 2 bed will achieve £425pm
They are increasing though 2 identical houses one sold for 64k in August last year, the other last week for 80k

tiggytape Thu 01-May-14 18:30:03

Why is it a problem if landlords sell - to someone who is owner occupying? It means one few property rented, one more owner occupied.

Because they won't be the same people.
Some people can afford to pay rent but don't have enough of a financial history or deposit to get a mortgage even though they could afford the monthly repayments.
They are reliant on rented accomodation and lots of people are in this situation. If suddenly there are less houses to rent, this is a problem.

People buying ex-rental properties are just as likely to be investers taking a house that may not have had much investment over the years, sinking £5k into doing it up and then selling at a profit. The sales won't necessarily go to people who need houses so much as those who want profits.

Surely Tiggy ll are already charging as much as they can in initial rents, raise the price and you will struggle to get a tenant no?

Not if everyone else starts doing it too in reaction to future caps and makes this the new normal.
And not if there are less properties left to rent due this regulation causing people to sell them. When supply is short, prices go up. That's the way with everything.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 18:30:26

If lls dramatically increase their rents tiggytape who will pay them? Not housing benefit, that is capped, and anyway it is said that lls' insurers won't allow hb claimants to rent the properties (is that always the case?)

Many private renters can't afford to pay any more.

So if the money is not there to pay higher rents, lls will either have to take what people can pay or sell the property, won't they? Why is that a problem? It might be if it deterred private builders from building more houses, that is a good point. But why would it deter them - surely it is just as profitable to sell to an owner occupier as to a landlord? Of course if prices fall overall or don't increase that might discourage new building - but are we seriously saying we can only have profitable new building in London if prices remain at their current levels? This seems unlikely to me but I don't know much about building companies' profitability.

tiggytape Thu 01-May-14 18:41:24

So if the money is not there to pay higher rents, lls will either have to take what people can pay or sell the property, won't they? Why is that a problem?

It isn't. That is the very definition of market forces on fact.

But why would it deter them - surely it is just as profitable to sell to an owner occupier as to a landlord?

If ll sense less profit and more red tape they won't necessarily want to purchase as many buy to lets.
So the number of houses purchased falls.
So builders either build less houses or charge less for them to tempt people into buying them. Neither of these is good for builders or encouraging new builds.

When builders build houses they want to know that people (including landlords) are ready to snap them up at premium prices and generate mega profits. There's no point building if fewer people want to buy as that means the selling price won't be as good which means profit is lower. It isn't worth doing unless profits are above a certain level.

JuliaScurr Thu 01-May-14 18:46:51

great - btl market crash! house prices crash! Yay!!!
then ripped off renters can buy the house for half what they pay in rent and housing benefit can stop subsidising.
sounds great.
lets build more council houses and renationalise (but with more customer control) energy and rail, too
and introduce living wage
then we could afford to live - maybe

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 19:03:03

Who pays to build the council houses though Julia? I think the suggestion is that the public sector borrows the money. I have seen suggestion that it go 'off balance sheet' - but don't really understand how that works - debt is debt. PFI is off balance sheet but we are discovering now that debt is debt. .... and UK's credit rating is not that brilliant, so is extra borrowing a good idea. Alternative is increase taxation I suppose - but could the government raise enough money that way?

Tiggy that's the thing - if the Lab proposals deterred new building then that would be a problem. But would it really be unprofitable to build new houses if prices were 20% lower? Depressing if so....and yet I somehow doubt that it is, though I have no facts and figures.

tiggytape Thu 01-May-14 19:06:33

If house prices crash, fewer houses will be built.

Until demand rises again and prices (and profits) go back up, it will be less profitable to build and people will lose work. No builder builds to meet needs or to create jobs. They build to make money. Less demand = lower prices = less profits = less new housing stock and fewer jobs in a very important industry.

Thats the trouble with meddling at one end of the chain - it has knock on effects that cannot be controlled and aren't always desirable.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 19:46:40

yes but no but Tiggy, is the logical conclusion then that we need house prices to go up? Because we all agree that private housebuilders are not building enough to keep pace with demand at the moment. Is it then the case that if prices were even higher they would build more and solve the problem? I see the argument, but that would be a counter-intuitive solution to the commonly perceived problem that house prices are rents are too high!
Then I think we would have to accept that the markets have failed in the case of housing - if it is not possible profitably to build housing at current house prices, then it is not possible profitably to build at prices that people can sustainably afford to buy (or rent - govt has to intervene with housing benefit in many many cases).

(Actually some people don't agree that there is not enough building. There is a school of thought that there is not a housing shortage, as there are enough houses currently - what the problem is, is too much finance available - from lenders who apply high multiples and lend to buy to letters, from overseas investors, from the rich who can pay cash or part cash - and that is what is pushing prices up, not shortages. I don't know if that's right. I suspect there may not be a housing shortage all over UK - references on this thread to vacant properties in the north. But in London it would be surprising if there were not a shortage, given the recent increases in population)

lessonsintightropes Thu 01-May-14 19:50:37

Iseenyou most housing associations now develop with no or minimal grant - money is raised commercially from banks and repaid back through rents or sale of a proportion.

Iseenyou Thu 01-May-14 20:03:30

That sounds like a viable financial solution then - so in that case what is stopping Housing Associations building more? I assume the borrowing is guaranteed by the government, so perhaps they set limits on what HAs can borrow? But would it really be so impossible to increase those borrowing guarantee limits to enable HAs to build more, at least where there are apparent shortages as in London?

lessonsintightropes Thu 01-May-14 22:52:23

And regarding no lack of housing supply... to smooth this out would involve moving masses of people to Grimsby and Hull from London. Can't see that happening - because we're not actually in Venezuala.

Iseenyou Fri 02-May-14 07:50:44

Agree lessons - but part of the solution must surely be for government to try to generate more economic activity in the regions, including Grimsby and Hull, so that people go there of their own accord, or at least don't have to move away to London to find work? The thing is that that kind of directionism has lost favour because it is difficult to do effectively. But you can do something - not work miracles, but ease the situation. Like transferring public sector jobs to the regions - a huge number are already there but it's perfectly possible to transfer more. No reason why civil service policy jobs have to be in London for instance - health and education policy departments were transferred to Sheffield and Leeds, weren't they - why not the remaining policy departments?

Anyway, back to the rent cap. Lots of warnings in the press that it will reduce the number of rented properties as landlords sell. But as a simple question of arithmetic, selling property is neutral in terms of available housing - either it will be sold to another landlord, or possibly more likely, to someone who occupies it instead of renting somewhere else. You cannot reduce the amount of currently available floorspace by encouraging landlords to sell! (unless it results in more second homes not rented out, or unoccupied property. No particular reason why that should be the unintended consequence, but worth looking out for.) You can deter future building of course, but that is a separate issue.

Isitmebut Fri 02-May-14 11:39:09

Iseenyou …. For heavens sake, growing the Public Sector by over 1 million and transferring civil service jobs out of London and the South to Wales and other places WAS the last government’s regional jobs plan – coming unstuck at the first major recession when with a £157 bil the government then has to decide (as 100% tax payer funded) did we really need them all.

When the Statistics office went to Wales and not enough employees relocated, they had t a hell of a job replacing them and national stats went wobbly for months and the BoE etc had to formulate policy around it. When those DVD’s of peoples personal data went missing, somehow getting lost between offices, when they looked into the office, the poor buggers hardly had an ‘ology between them and the place was in chaos.

So the lessons there were two-fold, there were not always the numbers and qualifications of workers needed in some towns AND often public sector salaries 'crowded out' the lower ones private sector employers could afford.

Back to the rent cap, if the availability of private rented properties falls it is a huge problem, NOT to the vendors who buy those properties to owner occupy, it is for those NEEDING to rent but DON’T HAVE AN OPTION TO BUY, like many in Shelter’s waiting list etc statistics I gave earlier - why can't you see that not everyone can buy and that a FALL in the numbers of rental properties within a private sector means exactly that, fewer options to the poorer people in society?

Isitmebut Fri 02-May-14 11:55:22

Government help to build more homes is necessary and I see that this was announced recently, but clearly a lot more needs to be done.


"Communities Secretary and Chief Secretary to the Treasury announce new borrowing powers."

“New borrowing powers will enable councils to build up to 10,000 affordable homes, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced today (7 April 2014).

"From today councils can bid for a share of £300 million of extra borrowing, which will be made available through an increase in their housing revenue account borrowing cap, and invested in new affordable housing over 2 years from 2015."

"Ministers also confirmed that the rules about council land sales would change, so more surplus and redundant land and property can be released to build homes for local communities."

"Councils applying for extra borrowing powers will need to demonstrate maximum value for money, by including funds from disposal of surplus assets, particularly high-value vacant stock, and by bringing forward their own land for new affordable housing.
Councils building more"

"The government has untied councils’ hands by reforming the system for council house finance. Councils can now keep their rents and receipts from house or land sales, in return for taking more responsibility for housing in their area."

"Since 2010 170,000 affordable homes have been delivered across the country, while councils have built more council housing in the last 3 years than in the previous 15 years combined."

"Today’s move will allow councils to build on this progress and ensure local people have the affordable homes they need.”

OldMrsSaucepan Sat 03-May-14 12:29:04

I agree Isitmebut. Can't help but think both these and Ed's plans are token gestures with votes in mind. And I think the definition of affordable needs an overhaul.

Just posted this link on the next generation thread www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-31589666.html

I find it staggering that proposals like these holiday homes for wealthy people have taken precedence over being made available for struggling families priced out of their area.

Isitmebut Sat 03-May-14 23:30:25

OldMrsSuacepan ..The plans above are from a coalition that came to power with a £157 billion a year government overspend that has to reduce that annual deficit, re build the Private Sector to create sustainable economic growth/jobs and build more residential homes (including social/council) than the previous government when during their watch, our citizen count went up by 2.5 million.

Miliband’s plans are typical, because Labour cannot build anything i.e. homes, nuclear power station or private sector jobs, they just like to use Big Government to State tinker, where in 13-years, I believe with nearly 4,300 new laws, that was more legislation than for all the previous administrations for the rest of the century COMBINED. Whether we call them new rules, regulations or red tape, it stifles rather than promotes private investment in the area we both NEED it now and struggle to find public money to replace it.

Regarding the ‘homes’ you show us, in my opinion they are just up-market private sector holiday homes, with 11-month a year occupancy like the one my departed mother used to spend in her multi bed roomed (static) caravan.

Councils need to get their act together and/or a brave political party has to finally decide to build wholsesale on the green belt – but something has to be done to further reduce the home building log-jam

“Councils hustled over housing, says National Trust chief”

“But the government said it valued and protected the countryside and councils had had a decade to come up with plans.”

“In 2004, the Labour government introduced local plans, requiring councils to set housing targets and identify a rolling five-year supply of developable land.”

“And, in April 2012, planning law in England was further changed to speed up decisions, with a "presumption in favour of sustainable development" unless negative considerations "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh positives.”

OldMrsSaucepan Sun 04-May-14 16:08:53

Yes the homes in the link are glorified caravans and only able to be occupied 11 months of the year. Blooming nice caravans though – and would make more than adequate permanent homes in a crisis – I’d have one!

My point is that it is perfectly viable to be creative with the types of buildings we use to help the housing crisis, which clearly can be low cost. It’s the cost of the land that is the issue.

I’m not convinced that the way we’re going about building houses provides us with the best outcome in terms of affordable homes. As far as I can see, we primarily build social or affordable housing as part of massive private developments of the kind we’re already used to (and seeing flying up everywhere, certainly in the south/south east) with vast profits from the larger private sales as the driving force and priority, is this really the best way? The social elements are clearly insufficient in numbers or “affordable” either by most pockets, and broad-scale habitat destruction is a cost none of us can afford (and this isn’t about fluffy animals, lentils or tree huggers – our very survival depends on being part of an efficient eco-system).

I am sure we have the ability to identify and make suitable land available for development without destroying wildlife habitats on which we depend. What I am not sure about is how far we are strung up by the short and curlies by large developers who have bought up all the available land and are sitting on it until they get the green light to reap in as much profit as possible.

Isitmebut Tue 06-May-14 13:26:41

OldMrsSaucepan ….excuse me, I didn’t realise that you “owned one” whether in the development advertised or elsewhere – but I’ll certainly agree that they are very nice and if I could afford a holiday home at all, never mind that very high standard, I’d buy one.

Back to your last point re the probability that there are huge land banks sitting there that could alleviate the homes shortage, as alleged by Mr Miliband in blaming builders for his homes shortage, energy companies for his energy shortage and every other company for not hiring and dramatically increasing everyone’s salaries ABOVE INFLATION during the worst recession in nearly 100-years – clearly not understanding what ‘a recession’ to the Private Sector, means.

‘Company bashing’ is almost as therapeutic as ‘bank bashing’, but we have to be careful as companies only just having the confidence to start investing substantially will STOP if they feel their businesses will be subject to the overly large hand of a socialist government as in the 1970’s e.g. Corporation Tax at 50%, killing future investment and/or R&D.

Can we really blame, or tax them for the time it takes to get planning and other permission (past numerous local special interest groups) as prices go up?

"UK housebuilders counter Ed Miliband's land-hoarding claim"

Plots are developed as soon as they have planning permission and 557% profit rise 'comes from very low base'

“Britain's housebuilders have launched a scathing counter attack againstEd Miliband's claim that they are hoarding land for profit.”

“The industry said plots are built on as soon as planning permission is secured, and argued that the 557% increase in profits among the nation's four biggest housebuilders this year comes from a very low base following the financial crisis.”

“Pete Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, said: "The industry is only just returning to the point where it is meeting its cost of capital following the most prolonged downturn in housing history.”

"The comparison used for profitability is against a point where many in the industry were loss making, so a percentage improvement is rather meaningless."

“Britain's chronic housing shortage is expected to push up prices by as much as 8% next year according to the property website Rightmove, unless a flood of new properties are built.
The biggest four developers by turnover – Barratt, Berkeley, Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey – have a collective land holding of almost 300,000 plots.”

“Miliband is accusing housebuilders of holding on to land to push up values, and claims some "stick-in-the-mud councils" are blocking development.
Redfern strongly rejected the Labour leader's accusation that housebuilders are hoarding land.”

"We continue to start all sites as soon as possible once an implementable planning permission is received. Taylor Wimpey specifically and the industry as a whole have only a tiny percentage of sites that have a planning permission, where construction has not been started."

“A spokesman for the Home Builders' Federation (HBF), the industry's trade body, said: "Developers don't land bank, all the evidence is there. As soon as developers get a planning permission they want to start on site. Developers are not land hoarders."

OldMrsSaucepan Tue 06-May-14 23:47:29

Isitmebut, I don't own one. confused

Can we really blame, or tax them for the time it takes to get planning and other permission (past numerous local special interest groups) as prices go up?

I'd wager much of the delay is due to justified objection to outlandishly profit based proposals.

From my local area: :

As the country remains in the grip of devastating floods and water supply problems, Sussex Wildlife Trust (SWT) is urging a re-think of the government’s housing proposals contained within a Green Paper, published on Monday 23 July.

The draft Housing Green Paper indicates the government will continue to build houses on flood plains as long as proper flood defences are in place. SWT argues that environmental limits should be respected when proposing the location of future housing. Our current crisis stems from years of building on flood plains, our over-reliance on man-made flood defences, and the removal of wetlands which can act as natural sponges, soaking up water and slowing it down in times of flooding.

“The last thing that river valleys such as the Arun, the Ouse and the Adur need is more built development” says Dr Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive of SWT. “This summer’s catastrophic floods, and the flooding of Lewes in 2000, show only too brutally what we can expect in a changing climate. New developments have to allow space for water - building impermeable new landscapes is not an option for the future.”

SWT believes the Government must now react by creating policies, through its housing green paper, which encourage developers and local planning authorities to build truly sustainable housing. It should avoid floodplains and protect and enhance wildlife habitats, such as wetlands, on a landscape scale. A three-pronged approach is needed; encompassing building homes in the right places and in the right way; restoring and creating healthy ecosystems and managing our river headwaters better to slow down run-off into rivers and streams. By working with nature, rather than against it, we will help society and species adapt to a changing climate, including increased rainfall.

Input from locals who know the area and understand it is vital. I know who I'd prefer to listen to and I'd be very concerned at short-cuts to exclude this kind of knowledge.

OldMrsSaucepan Tue 06-May-14 23:48:36
Isitmebut Wed 07-May-14 15:19:51

While I understand the need to look after our wildlife, the fact of the matter is that we only build on around an average of 10% of the land, in the South East (excluding London) its closer to 12% - whereas countries like Germany that build on 15% of their land do not have our shortage problem.

Governments not builders are to blame, from the recession hit 1990's where 'real' home price dropped substantially, to the 2000's where pre biggest years of immigration this report suggested £1.2 to £1.4 billion could have solved our social housing problem - when spending 100 times that was blown on a fat, inefficient, Quangocracy.

The (2004) Barker review: key points

"Kate Barker, a member of the monetary policy committee, was asked a year ago by Gordon Brown and the deputy prime minister John Prescott to carry out a review of the housing market in the UK."

"She was specifically required to look at what was behind the lack of supply of housing in the UK and the inability of the housing market to respond to this. Also within her remit was the role of the house-building industry, the level of competition within it, its capacity, technology and level of finance."

"The final review has now been published, just in time for Gordon Brown's budget."

The main findings

In 2001, around 175,000 houses were built in the UK. This was the lowest number since the second world war. Over the past 10 years, the number of new houses built has fallen and is now 12.5% lower than in the previous decade.

• In the last 30 years, UK house prices have gone up at double the average rate of increase in the EU. In real terms, prices have increased by 2.4% a year in real terms - compared to the EU average of 1.1%.

• A weak supply in housing means a less stable economy. This has an impact on the flexibility of the labour market, which in turn puts a strain on economic growth.

• Low availability of properties pushes prices up, making housing increasingly unaffordable. In 2002 only 37% of new households in England could afford to buy a house, compared with 46% in the late 1980s.

• These pressures mean a greater divide between "haves and have-nots", driving a gulf between people who can afford housing and those who cannot. According to the review, in 2003 there were 93,000 households in temporary accommodation compared to 46,000 in 1995.

OldMrsSaucepan Wed 07-May-14 15:51:41

Which brings us back to the suitability and cost of affordable new housing. As well as realistic, achievable and sustainable plans for the way forward.

None of which we are seeing.

We need the least amount of building in sensitive landscapes and better use of our existing buildings. There are many new build properties on Rightmove in my area which are mahoosive 3-5 bed luxury homes going for top dollar. There may be demand from people moving up the top end of the ladder, doesn't mean its a sensible or priority objective to meet it. I'm not even certain the demand is there.

What shit will we be in with more flooding? I think the most thought provoking bit of footage I saw was of man-made flood-defenses being washed away like loo roll. Let's not forget that statement from the Wildlife Trust was issued before this winter's most recent and extreme flooding (I presume given the document it refers to is July last summer). Are we really certain this government is the right track and well advised? (Thinking of the flack the Environment Agency got in Somerset).

Raising the amount councils can borrow for new social housing is certainly a good start, now we need creative development.

Isitmebut Wed 07-May-14 16:17:40

Well not to cry too hard over spilt milk over the doorstep, we missed our big chance when we had the money to do something about it - and we are unlikely to see anything too creative and 'cheap' so soon after the worst recession in over 80-years and that huge population growth before hand - resulting in a double whammy of low private investment and rising prices, although outside London still just below 2007/8 highs.

- Private Sector building needs to be encouraged rather than threatened, not just the large builders, the small ones now around 50% less than in 2007/8.

- Building regs and red tape cut and putting applications through quicker.

- More land offered out NOT on flood plains.

Politically on the first two Labour only know how to do the opposite, but a 'brave' Miliband with SOME substance could get away with offering up more land e.g. green belt, due to their mainly inner city voter base.

I suspect a Conservative government in a second term could handle effectively everything that needs to be done to encourage/finance/build both private and public housing in increased numbers - but would not bring home prices down quick enough to make housing 'affordable' without building on 'green' land, which I believe would be a policy too far for a Conservative P.M.

Rent, energy or any other 'controls' in a tight market is not the way forward, it kills the market.

OldMrsSaucepan Fri 09-May-14 23:11:14

I suspect a Conservative government in a second term could handle effectively everything that needs to be done to encourage/finance/build both private and public housing in increased numbers

I would have to agree to differ.


vitaminz Sun 25-May-14 18:43:45

The housing benefit bill is something like £25 billion and 40% of this is going straight into the pockets of private landlords via housing benefit. This is ridiculous. They could use that money for a mass social house building program. Instead we have the situation where full time workers earning a pittance are having to pay extortionate rents from their highly taxed PAYE jobs to fund the pensions/property portfolios of the older generations whose houses do all the work for them and they can even use tax breaks to reduce their tax burden. "Generation rent" are being royally screwed by the selfish generation who have benefited from cheap housing, great pensions at an early age, free education and continue to benefit from things like winter fuel allowance. It's completely topsy turvy. The younger generation is being forced into penury so the rentiers can live it up without having to work.

HoopyViper Mon 26-May-14 10:23:32

^ That's a perfect summary right there.

We are exceptionally lucky to have just been offered a Housing Association flat, having been evicted through ll selling up for the 3rd time in 4.5 years (7yr old and 3yr old DC).

The disruption to our lives has been immense; on top of DPs business struggling from first crash, my own health problems, caring responsibilities and DS1 struggling on an IEP at school.

This move is now costing the tax payer less in housing benefit as we will be down to receiving less than £10 per week, as opposed to the several hundreds a month we were given to keep a private rented roof over our heads. I think it's actually shocking that we have been propped up in this situation for so long. The LLs of course will be profiting very nicely from the £40K we and the state have given them over the last few years.

I don't care that we lose our lovely home and garden for a first floor flat (although am waiting for the stigma to kick in, I hope the DCs friends will be kind when they visit). At this point in time, stability from which we can plan our way forwards to save, and potentially buy is far more valuable.

Isitmebut Mon 26-May-14 13:56:53

Labour left a critical Energy shortage, so is looking to discourage Energy company investment with State control.

Labour left a critical 'earnings'/unemployment situation via a great recession and is looking to discourage business investment/jobs with State controls.

Here Labour is looking to solve a critical housing shortage by discouraging those they encouraged to become landlords e.g. killing Private Pensions, with rent controls.

Wouldn't it be 'nice' if Labour GOT IN FRONT of one of their policy problems, BEFORE trying to screw those propping the problem up??????

When Labour tells us how they will build 200,000 new homes a year (never mind put break ground), when during mass immigration they could only build an annual average of 115.000 - then they should be careful not to threaten those who might find the prospects of on-going State controls e.g. locking them into 3-year contracts with rising interest rates/mortgage funding costs, NOT WORTH THE 'RISK'.

Sure there are buyers, but it is those that cannot afford to buy, that still need a place to live, which makes the problem of the COST of renting, secondary. IMO.

aquashiv Mon 26-May-14 19:25:28

The blokes an idiot.

JaneParker Mon 26-May-14 19:55:00

1. Under th eplans if the landlord needs to move into the property the 3 years goes out the window (i.e. there is no 3 year guarantee - just smoke and mirrors)
2. The rent can increase in accordance with increases in local market rents - that is what landlords all currently do anyway
3. The costs on the tenant by the agent will just be swallowed into the rent which will be higher so no saving to the tenant.

Therefore the plans are totally pointless.

HoopyViper Mon 26-May-14 20:16:13

I agree JaneParker, I don't think any party has a sensible or realistic plan that will do nearly enough.

You'll have to humour me a bit here Isitmebut, but I do often wonder how it is we could afford the Olympics and the Jubilee (not to mention high speed rail) but do naff all to create properly affordable housing.

Or am I being too simplistic?

It feels to me that private renters are copping the flack for others in dire situations, ie negative equity brought about by disgraceful banking practices.

HoopyViper Mon 26-May-14 21:00:37

I could add that we have always trained and worked as hard as our circumstances would allow.

When everyone 10-15 years ago shouted at us "buy, buy, buy!" at stupid rates (and some are now too as we race towards similarly stupid prices) we could see the way ahead down that route was doomed. And it was. The bad practices that would have made us able to take out a mortgage were called to an abrupt halt. It would have been irresponsible for us to have taken on a mortgage, but many others jumped at it.

There for the grace of God go I. Maybe I'd be an accidental landlord now, who knows.

Isitmebut Tue 27-May-14 12:34:46

HoopyViper …. Further to your following point;
“You'll have to humour me a bit here Isitmebut, but I do often wonder how it is we could afford the Olympics and the Jubilee (not to mention high speed rail) but do naff all to create properly affordable housing. Or am I being too simplistic?”

In answer to your question to the affordability of building social/council/affordable homes, there is a ‘then’ and ‘now’ government financial situation as the Coalition inherited in 2010 a UK that was ANNUALLY spending £157 billion a year MORE than what we earn – as well as LESS council/social homes available in 2010, than in 1997.

And although the Coalition has reduced that to just over £100 billion annually - we NOW have an (accumulated) National Debt of £1,270,000,000,000 (£1.27 trillion) and it is costing £52 billion a year out of our national spending budget, JUST to cover the interest on that debt, that gets ever larger until any government gets the spending under control

Hence my point, we need (for now) to rely too much on Private Sector landlords and Private Sector new homes, until this government (and/or the next) can build more than they currently are.

The fact is that back ‘then’ from 1997 to 2007, we had the money, but had different priorities.



Even though the government was warned around the time we opened our doors to the EU, we already needed twice as many homes built per year (whether our population was to grow due to EU economic migration, or not).

The (2004) Barker review – pre EU immigration Barker recommended that we had to DOUBLE home building back then.

Kate Barker, a member of the monetary policy committee, was asked a year ago by Gordon Brown and the deputy prime minister John Prescott to carry out a review of the housing market in the UK.

Shelter (2009); The housing crisis in numbers – and the need for spare bedrooms, never mind homes.

P.S. An infrastructure project like HS2 that can help bridge the North-South divide, encourage more businesses/jobs North and generally make it easier for more workers to commute further for work ADDS to the economy for decades to come. Building up an expensive Quangocracy just helps ‘the few’ well paid government employees, creates more anti growth red tape and just ADDS to our annual budget deficit.

vitaminz Tue 27-May-14 13:34:14

They could divert the billions they current pay private landlords in housing benefit into a massive house building programme. Something like 40% of the housing benefit bill now goes straight into the pockets of rich landlords. This also places a floor on rents since landlords know this is the minimum they can receive. It's ridiculous that tax payers are paying for the pension/mortgage of landlords. This is market intervention, not natural market where supply and demand. If housing benefit for private rentals were removed rents would fall rapidly. But most landlords vote Tory so this is a no no. They would rather have tenants living in insecure, shitty accommodation that they are paying high rents for than building 100,000s of homes that would make life better for so many people, reduce welfare costs, reduce medical costs (bad housing makes people ill) etc.

Landlords already get lots of tax breaks, have access to specialist low cost mortgages that first time buyers don't, they can ofset costs against tax, claim back mortgage interest etc, how can young first time buyers compete? They don't have to be on any national register and HMRC estimates that many hundreds of thousands of landlords are not even paying tax on the rent they receive. The "market" is totally distorted in favour of older, rich, landlords.

Isitmebut Tue 27-May-14 15:21:15

vitaminz ... do you have 'the landlords' costs of funding their mortgage and other expenses - so we can work out how much the State can 'divert' without them getting totally pissed off and selling up, or before getting locked into a 3-year contract that assumes EVERY landlord is a long term landlord and/or their circumstances won't change?

Or shall we form a new Quango to individually sit down with each landlord and work out how much £££££ can individually be 'diverted' and keep them happy enough to hold on?

We are where we are because we are around 2 million homes short when we should not have been, with or without immigration, and as private landlords now this year for the first time are the biggest providers of accomodation - IMO we have to be very careful where the clunking fist of State lands, as the State can't stop them selling, YET.

Personally with the new private pension reforms, I'd see the writing on the wall, sell up, and save in more traditional 'shocks and scares' markets - that money came out of when Mr Brown took away stocks dividend tax relief in 1997 - as retain full control (via a SIPP) and more tax efficient, if nothing else.

Isitmebut Tue 27-May-14 15:45:13

vitaminz .... Re "They would rather have tenants living in insecure, shitty accommodation that they are paying high rents for than building 100,000s of homes that would make life better for so many people, reduce welfare costs, reduce medical costs (bad housing makes people ill) etc."

Have you read the links above e.g. Shelter, how can you blame the Tories for those figures in 2009; 1.7 million households, that is around 5 million people on waiting lists - nothing to do with Labour increasing the population by 2.5 million in the 2000, was it?

Brown encouraged Buy To Let, around the mid 2000's he seriously considered allowing pensions to buy homes via a SIPP, but pulled out at the last moment.

Brown had Capital Gains Tax at a tapered low of 10%, putting it up to 18% before leaving power - who was that for if not the likes of multi property landlords?

All Labour can do is scoff at Coalition emergency measures to try free up several hundred thousand empty Council/social bedrooms TO HELP THOSE SUFFERING from Labour's policies - and call it a bedroom tax for political capital.

So I' redefine who "they" are, if I was you, and now the money has all gone, apart from the extra borrowing power for councils I've linked above, IN THE REAL WORLD, where socialist policies to solve socialist government screw ups sends investment capital running - if I was Miliband I would not even read your idea, never mind repeat it.

HoopyViper Tue 27-May-14 16:41:14

Isitmebut the Olympics and Jubilee were in this term. Imo there there was no justification to do/give the best most lavish celebrations around these. Yet these were the events this government prioritised.

The state can't stop them [LL] selling, yet.

What will happen if they do? Who will they sell to?

Perhaps it needs to happen. Mass sell up of houses currently let out which are not sustainable long-term lets and costing us more in benefits payout. Down come the price tags, either first time buyers will be able to afford to buy, or perhaps we'll see more housing associations swoop up these to provide as social housing.

Isitmebut Tue 27-May-14 17:01:42

HoopyViper .... "who will they sell to" ... I guess that depends if people are looking to trade down or trading up, can still borrow to buy - and what percentage within the total UK housing stock, are rented out properties.

There would unlikely be mass sales, I'd suggest most landlords try and fix their mortgages for 2 to 5 year terms, so if too costly to break their Fixed Term mortgage, they'd wait several months before it came up for renewal to market it.

My point is, for those in the likes of Shelters figures, they do not have the OPTION to buy and the last thing they need is to compete with those with more money, in a home bun fight due to a reducing number of the private sector rented out homes stock.

The ONLY ways homes in this country will come down significantly, will be if we build shed loads more or another financial crash.

P.S. When did the Olympics Stadium start being built, and how much was the Jubilee on top of the Queens contribution - and why no comment on fat, inefficient government costing £170 bil, much of which still forms our annual budget deficit????

HoopyViper Wed 28-May-14 10:57:41

Wrote long reply and lost it in the ether. So here goes again. I am not for a minute suggesting labour did well last term, but they did coincide with a Global crash which does have to be taken into consideration. We may well have borrowed a lot - but surely we were only given it on the strength of our plans to pay it back - or was that more shoddy banking practice?

I just don't think this Government are really doing any better. Certainly it is the poor and vulnerable who are experiencing more hardship in real terms, in spite of "recovery". I have no idea who I am going to vote for.

I don't know how much the Queen ended up paying for the Jubilee. The sums seem to vary wildly and most describe anticipated costs before the event, rather than actual amounts afterwards, and all vary depending on their source. I am sure the real figures are out there somewhere.

My point though re: Olympics and Jubilee is more that the extravagance felt inappropriate to me, whoever paid for it. All those thousands upon thousands literally going up in smoke. I found it distasteful and reflective of wider values.

You refer a lot to Shelter - they are campaigning for 5 year rental contracts, AFAIK.

I am also slightly confused as you seem to being saying on one hand we need to be careful not to upset landlords or they will disappear, but then on the other saying there wouldn't be a mass sell up.

I do wonder if we could do more to remove accidental landlords from the equation - if something like 2.7 million precariously unstable rental homes were removed from the equation and put on the open market at their true value, alongside plans to build more appropriate social housing, I am certain that would have a real impact.

We could do more to acknowledge the plight of accidental landlords, particularly where due to the global crash and irresponsibility of our banking practices (yes, under a Labour government). Otherwise we're just shunting their problem onto the already vulnerable, as if they are second class citizens or something.

HoopyViper Wed 28-May-14 12:12:02

Or how about if shoddy landlords who are in breach of contract (but where really we know currently tenants have no leg to stand on) the ll is forced to sell or rent long term to the council or ha at reduced price. That'd learn 'em!

Isitmebut Wed 28-May-14 12:46:42

HoopyViper ….. firstly, re home building, let us remember that Brown commissioned the Barker Report (for a homes shortage reason) in 2003, which reported a massive shortage in 2004 – and the financial crash began in late 2007, and didn’t really impact on our growth until early 2009, which is 12-years after Labour came to power.

As far as banks were concerned, they were not to blame for the unbalanced structure of the UK leading into the crash, which made our annual deficit (which was annually around £30 billion leading up to 2007) FAR WORSE.

If you read this link it explains, through the financial jargon, that Labour/Brown massively increased government spending (unprecedented in Europe in ‘real’ terms) by around 50% from 2001 to 2008, mainly due to the tax receipts from speculation i.e. City profits that produced between £60 to £100 bil a year in tax and several £billion on Stamp Tax due to the Housing boom,

BUT WHEN THE TAX RECEIPTS FELL AND THE EXPENSES STAYED THE SAME WITHOUT CUTS, we ended up (including the extra costs of any recession with less tax receipts and more unemployment benefits) with the £157 billion Labour passed on to the Coalition.

I therefore reiterate MY POINT, that the money was available, and whether in your opinion the Olympic project Labour started, or the Queen’s Jubilee, was less or more important than a small army of Quancicrats on £60k to £150k+ - or sending THIS army into war without decent military equipment, is here nor there – Labour were aware of the housing shortage before immigration added to the homes shortage, but it appears, did nothing about it – other than pass the problem over to the Private Sector, actively encourage bank lending and Buy To Let investments

So on housing, we are where we are, with the Coalition looking to solve a huge social problem not of their making, with a honking great annual Budget Deficit to try and fix it.

Re Shelter; yes I do refer to them as they seem a reliable source on the SIZE of the problem of those on lower incomes mainly needing council/social homes, many not yet in rented housing, and will definitely not benefit by a drop in private rented properties tightening the rental market overall.

As to pushing for 5-year contracts, which I’d guess they are looking for in social housing, but even if they mean private landlord rentals, the funding and other uncertainties remain for landlords year after year, whether God Almighty himself is for 5-year contracts.

Re Accidental Landlords; whether we call them accidental, unplanned for, or even bastards, if you “REMOVE” landlords at any time without knowing if an owner occupier or new landlord will buy it – thereby potentially reducing the amount of available rental properties on the market for those who have options, and the poorer people in society who don’t – I cannot see any ‘positives’, only negatives.

Re any Landlords selling due to socialist head-up-bottom dictates; why are you confused that the amount of rental stock available will fall, whether it takes 1-year or 5-years, as landlords have the choice of waiting until their Fixed Mortgage ends, or paying an often large penalty to break it mid fixed term?

I can’t wait to see more unpractical ideas’ - with a net sum loss akin to re-arranging the cabin accommodation on the Titanic - RATHER THAN FIRM PLANS TO BUILD 200,000 HOMES A YEAR FROM 2015.

HoopyViper Wed 28-May-14 13:35:39

But you are assuming if private lls cut their losses by selling up, these properties no longer exist for those in need of housing, or are snapped up privately by those who can already buy. You've made no comment as to the liklihood of them being used instead as social housing, or whether we have power to influence that as an outcome. Or in terms of where the buck falls for those caught up in negative equity.

I don't see why we cannot build AND introduce a better regulated private rent system to weed out bad practice and which offers more security for tenants. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Anyhoo, I would love to spend more time reading and researching all the dm links you have been providing, but unfortunately I have boxes to pack. My views though pretty much remain unchanged.

Isitmebut Wed 28-May-14 14:12:55

What? Of course a sold house will be reoccupied, on what basis do you assume the rental stock won't fall when landlords sell and/or Social/Housing Associations can afford or will pick them up?

There is no problem with a better regulated rental market any ANY time and it should be ongoing, but that is not what is being proposed; so all you need understand is that State or any other penal controls on private capital sends it running - and anyone who sez they are running their own money, pension fund or otherwise, for the 'good of the inefficient state', should be viewed with suspicion. IMO.

If an annually bust UK wants to encourage mass building/renting with better practice and sustainable housing stock now and in the future, of which they can add to at any time - what a political party should not do is threaten the market place, although long tenancies might suit NEW PRIVATE SECTOR PROVIDERS.

“Pru plans foray into UK rented housing”


“The Prudential is to become the first UK institutional investor to enter the UK rented housing market in recent times, paving the way for the growth of a corporate-backed letting market at a time of acute housing shortage.”

“The UK’s insurers and pension funds were once among the largest owners of residential property in the UK, but sold off their estates in the years after the second world war due to the intensive management required.”

“Both Legal & General and Aviva are looking at entering the private rented sector; _both are understood to have eyed various potential developments and tie-ups with housebuilders.”_

Frankly if I was them, I'd but any building/renting plans on hold until after the 2015 General Election and wait to hear Miliband's details to a badly thought out plan, ONCE he's got the votes.

vitaminz Wed 28-May-14 14:17:29

Isitmebut - I'm not just blaming the Tories, Labour were absolutely horrendous in their 13 years in power and most of the problems are Labour's fault including the introduction of BTL mortgages, not building any social homes during their tenure, not raising interest rates at the right time, allowing interest only and 120% mortgages, basically allowing houses to be assets rather than homes for people. However, as far as I can see it is Labour who are actually talking about the large percentage of people who are now forced to rent and although not perfect in any way, tenants now feel like they are getting some attention from a political party.

It is notable that just last week the Tories and Lib Dems voted against a ban on letting agents charging tenants. We all know that the Tories are the party of the rich and far more Tory MP's are multiple home owners and BTLers so have a vested interest in keeping housing supply squeezed, making sure the private rental sector is as insecure and unattractive to renters as possible so they will want rather take on the huge debt of a small new build than continue to rent (that is why they won't reform the private rental sector so that tenants have longer security of tenure or put a stop to things like retaliatory evictions).

Also, if landlords sell up because they no longer get the rent they want then that means more homes on the market for non-landlords to buy and presumably more homes for families to live in that just want a home rather than an investment. I don't think that's a bad thing. These houses won't be knocked down or disappear in a puff of smoke just because they don't belong to a landlord anymore, they will just change use, which, imo is a good thing for individual tenants and the economy as a whole.

vitaminz Wed 28-May-14 14:29:55

Of course we need to build more homes but we also have to make sure that these are not just going to be bought up by landlords so that the situation goes full circle. The need for more houses is the symptom of the problem, not the cause. Addressing the cause (making being a landlord unattractive) would bring a lot more homes onto the market for people to own and live in. We can only do that by making other investments MORE attractive to potential landlords. The best way would be to reverse Brown's changes to pensions that created the beast that is BTL. Get people investing in companies that produce things, manufacturing, entrepreneurs, inventors, helping society and the economy as a whole, not the pseudo-business of BTL which is destroying lives and destroying the economy.

HoopyViper Wed 28-May-14 15:22:34

Agreed vitaminz.

Isitmebut my post was clear that I am not assuming anything but querying whether we have scope to influence the outcome of sales of currently rented properties so as not to create further deficiency in affordable housing for those who need it.

You still haven't commented on where the buck should lie in terms of those in negative equity. At the moment it seems an "owners" right to let a property in an unstable way, trumps the right of a tenant to a stable home. I am questioning the morality of that, and whether we could do more to support ll and tenant in these cases.

Perhaps there should be tighter regulation on which properties can be used as lets, and what happens to them if a ll decides to sell, linked to evidence-based local housing needs in terms of actual numbers of short or longer term requirements. Rather than anyone who owns outright doing what the heck they like, or banks deciding purely on terms of the type of mortgage they hold.

<really am packing now>

Isitmebut Thu 29-May-14 12:29:38

HoopyViper ….. Ok as both you and Vitiminz keep repeating the same thing, what you are both saying is that (despite the chronic lack of homes and properties to rent) you are not concerned that if Landlords sell, that it is guaranteed to reduce the amount of properties to rent – as unless another Landlord buys the property, it will be an owner occupier – which BY DEFINITION will put more accommodation available pressure on the poorer in society WHO HAVE NO OPTION TO BUY.

Ok, personally I think you are both being rather impractical for those with few financial and rental options, but I’ve got your point, no matter how rubbish it is. lol

Next re ‘the negative equity buck’, that lies with the owner of the property and the lender, until the property can be sold at a profit, should the owner wish to. Please explain to me what is an “unstable way”, and why aren’t the tenants offered a 3-momth, 6-month or 12-month Tenancy, like every other tenant in the private rental sector – unlike the somewhat longer ones via Housing Associations, or complete security of a Council Property?

If you are somehow questioning the morality of a private Landlord to sell their own property (for whatever personal/divorce/commercial/investment reason), then the answer is in the Private Sector Institutionalising of the private rented sector (as per the Prudential link I provided earlier), where those institutions e.g. Pension Funds, will be actively encouraging longer term contracts/security of tenure – to augment other more social landlords and Councils when they are able to fund many more homes than now.

Trying to micro manage the rental market cannot work for those putting their personal capital at risk and looking for an annual income, so encouraging mass institutional landlords, better able to cope with odorous socialist style red tape when leaders are looking for votes - and looking at their involvement over the long term.

Isitmebut Thu 29-May-14 12:40:56

Vitaminz ….. I covered your homes “puff of smoke” point, where you somehow think it is “good for tenants” when landlords sell to owner occupiers above. Hmmm.

Re your propaganda (below) straight out of Labour’s 1970’s ‘Class War Manual’ below, designed for the 2015 General Election; next you will be telling me that Labour’s unemployment, immigration and home build policies were because they were so ‘IN TOUCH’ with their working class roots.

“It is notable that just last week the Tories and Lib Dems voted against a ban on letting agents charging tenants. We all know that the Tories are the party of the rich and far more Tory MP's are multiple home owners and BTLers so have a vested interest in keeping housing supply squeezed, making sure the private rental sector is as insecure and unattractive to renters as possible so they will want rather take on the huge debt of a small new build than continue to rent (that is why they won't reform the private rental sector so that tenants have longer security of tenure or put a stop to things like retaliatory evictions).”

The Conservatives you call being “the party of the rich”, are in 1970’s parlance, the party of encouragement of a thriving Business/Private Sector (Labour pathetically calls ‘the few’) as they STILL don’t understand what PAYS for the Public Sector/Welfare – and that most of those 1.6 million that have work since 2010 are neither rich, or can thank Labour whose only policies pre 2010 for job ‘growf’ was to lower VAT for a year and INCREASE National Insurance.

Furthermore your accusation on why it is the Conservatives who want an “insecure and unattractive” rental market to drive home purchases might have held some water if UNDER LABOUR from 1997;

- Brown had not raised Home Stamp Duty from a Flat 1% to help pay for his massive increase in Public Sector Spending, financed by his looser bank lending regulations - so home transactions became his cash cow.

- Brown had not discouraged traditional pension saving, and encouraged Buy To Let investment to take up the slack of home provisions he was not prepared to finance via the State.

- Brown put Council Tax up over 110% in 13-years, again using homes to fund his fat State, draining renter’s discretionary income back when they did not give a hoot about ‘the cost of living’.

- Brown did not offer far more funds to Council/Social housing to try to compensate for their current needs, never mind Labour’s immigration policy, and the amount of those more secure homes FELL under Labour.

I reiterate, this country needs homes built to drive down prices/rents, all Labour offers is vote winning populist solutions, as practical as a chocolate tea pot, similar to reallocating cabins on the Titanic – as seriously, what GOOD is banning estate agents fees for managing properties in the practical home shortage scheme of things?

As far from providing more homes, as estate agents would no longer manage the credit checks, rent collection and day to day running of Landlords properties, all it would do is encourage those who can not do it themselves, to sell, lowering the amount of properties for rent.

Impractical populist policies for votes are Miliband’s theme for 2015; apart from locking landlords (Private Capital) into too long/financially risky fixed terms to paper over Labour’s past housing incompetence, ex Energy Minister Miliband proposes ‘energy freezes’ to an industry that he left us requiring $100 billion plus of Private Capital, otherwise our lights will go off.

Labour/Miliband says ‘he understands’ the Cost of Living crisis, which is just as well as you get one with EVERY recession, and his party left us with ‘the mother’ of all recessions since the 1930’s - with no practical solutions to date.

Labour cannot create a sustainable economy, or solve problems, they just like to ‘fiddle’ with them, make new laws (nearly 4,300 last time?) AND pretend someone else in the Private Sector will pick up the tab for their incompetence - when all it will do is drive that private capital away that HAS A CHOICE whether to put up with Miliband’s State Controls ‘vision’ for the next parliament, or vote with their financial feet.

The Solution; build 200k homes in 2015/6 and every year after, and ensure the Rental market continues to take up the slack, reviewing ways to ENCOURAGE existing private landlords to offer longer fixed term contracts, and ENCOURAGE institutional money in to fund the building of new homes and rent them out for 5-year plus fixed terms – and this will solve many of the costs and security issues, rather than reduce the availability of rental properties before the State raises it's game.

Sicaq Thu 29-May-14 12:45:47

there are plenty of good properties for rent in this country. Renting a dump for a fortune because it is so damn essential to live in a particular area does not make sense.

You talk about moving for financial reasons, special, but that is EXACTLY the reason why many of us moved to London. I was unemployed in my home town. London is where the money is at the moment for me.

I do agree that the UK is way too Londoncentric, and I have no emotional attachment to the city. I would move tomorrow if a job came up. But in the meantime me, and thousands like me, do not have a choice but to pay a fortune for a shithole. I need a roof over my head while I earn my living.

JaneParker Thu 29-May-14 18:29:26

You could do what the rest of us do - live far out and commute in if you want somewhere better.

Sicaq Thu 29-May-14 20:24:12

I had thought of that, but my wages won't cover rent and a long commute. If they did, I'd happily do so.

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 11:02:12

Ok, personally I think you are both being rather impractical for those with few financial and rental options, but I’ve got your point, no matter how rubbish it is. lol

Isitmebut you may well rubbish and patronise my questioning around these issues but you appear to be missing the point I am trying to make (and Vitaminz, I believe). Perhaps I should underline the key bit. If "unfeasible" landlords sell up, leaving only those who can offer secure long-term lets (or can manage adequately with short gaps between tenants and any maintenance issues) ALONGSIDE an increase in housing supply, prices will come down and more people CURRENTLY RENTING will be able to afford to buy, therefore REDUCING the number left needing to blinking rent. <bangs head on wall>

Those who do not want to buy (yet) could be adequately housed by effective landlords (and yes, potentially by the likes of serious and well equipped professional organisations, however I would prefer to see more socially minded and not profit-driven enterprises fill these shoes).

Those unlikely ever to be in a position to buy are way more likely to be better suited to social housing in any case.

I may well be barking up the wrong tree here, but I am not convinced the way we calculate our housing shortage really takes into consideration the number of actual residences in terms of the number of existing houses/rooms per person in our population; but rather is more based on the number on the number of homeless applications, from people priced out of the current market and existing housing. I question the fundamental ethos behind our view and approach to solving the housing crisis, not that I expect you to agree.

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 11:03:13

Please explain to me what is an “unstable way”, and why aren’t the tenants offered a 3-month, 6-month or 12-month Tenancy, like every other tenant in the private rental sector – unlike the somewhat longer ones via Housing Associations, or complete security of a Council Property?

Isitmebut, 3 month, 6 month and even 12 month tenancies are NOT stable situations for a family. That is an issue which seems to be spectacularly missed.

Someone who has difficulty in selling their home, or who wants ready access to their money for whatever reason should have no right IMO to pass on the vulnerability of THEIR situation to others. Perhaps the state could help in other ways, rather than pass the buck and ultimately foot the bill.

I appreciate you may see things differently.

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 11:04:46

…reviewing ways to ENCOURAGE existing private landlords to offer longer fixed term contracts, and ENCOURAGE institutional money in to fund the building of new homes and rent them out for 5-year plus fixed terms – and this will solve many of the costs and security issues, rather than reduce the availability of rental properties before the State raises it's game.

Isitmebut who is saying to reduce the availability of rental properties before the State raises it’s game? In fact we are agreeing on some aspects around this. I’ll repeat, it is not a case of either/or. I also agree that encouragement is better than force. I interpretted Vitaminz post of Wed 28-May-14 14:29:55 to mean just that, by encouraging investment elsewhere, and making letting more unattractive.

JaneParker Fri 30-May-14 11:08:42

On longer commutes in London zone 5 - I have cycled from there to the centre - bit of a long haul but is very good exercise. The tube in is about £200 a month but rents are cheaper.

Sicaq Fri 30-May-14 12:46:27

Huh - where would you recommend? Still quite new to London, any advice welcome!

I have looked as far as Southend, Southampton, Brighton, Reading, Luton and so on. It seemed like the London sphere of influence with regard to huge rents spreads quite far - certainly as far as Luton. And that's before the massive costs of the season tickets.

My old home town is actually only 1 hour from London by train, but costs £900 a for a monthly season ticket shock

Isitmebut Fri 30-May-14 14:01:00

HoopyViper ….. are you not contradicting yourself, as on the right hand you want to ‘encourage’ private renting, and then on your (far) left hand, you want to make private renting ‘unattractive’ to landlords – with that joined up policy thinking are you Ed Miliband in disguise?

Before I go on, let me remind you that this year was the first year that private rental accommodation has grown to become the largest provider of rented properties, and the numbers involved is around 4 million people.

So if say 5-10% do sell, it might help those who can buy, but NOT the poorer in society, who either may be renting now from the private sector or waiting for accommodation, and will find more competition for fewer rental properties, from better ‘heeled’ prospective tenants.

The problem is that Mr Miliband threats of legislation in 2015, making landlords offering a 3-year Tenancy compulsory, with all the rights to break the 3-year term on the tenants side (unless the tenant breaks certain covenants) will be a major discouragement to many not willing to take on a 3-year ‘risk’, and will come in years before government funds can take up any current rental demand, when private landlords sell up ahead of that legislation.

Such is the current private rental demand and government finances, professional institutions like pension funds building and renting out properties would seriously help solve the problem of more ‘professional’ landlords, and this has been planned for a few years now, as this link below pointed out.

“Pru plans foray into UK rented housing”


“The Prudential is to become the first UK institutional investor to enter the UK rented housing market in recent times, paving the way for the growth of a corporate-backed letting market at a time of acute housing shortage.”

But enter Mr Miliband in populist policy mode, offering the public Private Sector cheques his unfriendly to business government will not be able to cover.

“Labour to take on private landlords”


“The move is the latest element of the opposition’s campaign on the “cost of living”, which has seen salvos against banks, energy companies, betting companies, pension providers, housebuilders and transport firms. But critics warn the move could undermine attempts to create a more professional private rented sector.”

It will also enforce new three-year contracts which landlords would not be able to break simply for the sake of getting a higher rent. Instead they would only be able to end the contract – with two months’ notice – if they had a good reason such as rent arrears, antisocial behaviour or breaches of the agreement.

Landlords and tenants would have to set initial rents based on market value, with a rent review no more frequently than once a year.

At that point landlords would be prevented from raising rents any higher than an “upper ceiling” set in place by legislation. That cap would be based on a benchmark such as average market rents.

But Marnix Elsenaar, head of planning, at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, said _the move could make undermine attempts to attract institutional investors into the incipient “build-to-let sector”_

Meanwhile, start-up Essential Living has vowed to shake up the capital’s lettings market, dominated by small amateur landlords. Martin Bellinger, its chief operating officer, said landlords needed to offer the “flexibility” of both short and long-term leases.

_At a time when everyone is falling over themselves to support a professionalised rental sector, proposing rent caps would be absolute madness. It will kill off institutional investment in one fell swoop,_” he said.

And it is not just potential professional renters dreading Miliband’s badly thought out populist policies, businesses are too, even now holding back investment/jobs until 2015, as this link explains.
'Reverting back to old-fashioned socialism is stupid': JCB boss Lord Bamford warns of Miliband threat


Isitmebut Fri 30-May-14 14:17:22

HoopyViper …. Being a private landlord (especially a small one) is an investment, that provides a social service, not the other way around – that is what you and Mr Miliband have to get your head around.

Why can’t you see that legislating for 3-years when a landlord could have a personal /financial reason to sell at the end of a fixed term contract, never mind an economic one if homes prices start to crash and they wouldn’t be able get refinancing for their loans – and many will be nervous committing for 3-years when State controls are dictating commercial terms, that can change against them on a whim of an annual Chancellors Budget.

I GET IT a max 1-year plan is a constant concern of families, but many of them will want the flexibility of moving to smaller, larger, cheaper, properties within a three year period, they did not envisage at the beginning.

My point is, we have what rental stock we have, we need to encourage reforms, not State Controls that encourage landlord sales, as there is no back up plan – and Miliband’s policy is ALREADY discouraging the move to more professional, longer term rent supply.

Isitmebut Fri 30-May-14 14:24:35

P.S. You seem to say if landlords sell, THIS will result, if THIS happens, and THAT will result if THAT happens - but it is your wish, not the reality - look at the Shelter figures, if the poor had the options of cheaper social rented housing you think they have, they would not be in their figures unable to move to a larger property or a property at all.

JaneParker Fri 30-May-14 14:34:28

The legislation is not as bad as being set out above. Most landlords only increase once a year and only if other rents locally go up so linking t market rents is no problem. Secondly you can get the tenant out of if you want to move in ergo the 3 year thing is just a smoke screen for the rules staying as they are.

Isitmebut Fri 30-May-14 15:25:27

JaneParker ..... as "most landlords only increase once a year" (when I found as I looked after the place we never had rent rises for 3-years on two properties) isn't this a Miliband 'elephant gun' to a rental mouse problem re the minority of landlords?

And where is the draft policy/legislation, "linking market rents (exactly to what) is no problem" to whom and whatever mortgage funding costs/investment yield the landlord thinks is worthwhile?

And "getting tenants out" for commercial/personal reasons are allowed - if the landlord's has the ability to sell WITHIN a 3-year fixed term, they don't have within a 1-year term - what is the point of a 3-year term other than pretend to tenants that they have a guaranteed period of tenure?

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 16:27:28

HoopyViper ….. are you not contradicting yourself, as on the right hand you want to ‘encourage’ private renting, and then on your (far) left hand, you want to make private renting ‘unattractive’ to landlords – with that joined up policy thinking are you Ed Miliband in disguise?

No, I am being quite clear. I would like to see STABLE renting encouraged where it is needed, only by those who can ride out the peaks and troughs in an uncertain market, who truly see their property as a long term investment. Not those with short term market concerns and who are clearly out to make the most profit in the quickest possible way at the expense (literally) of their tenants.

Then, those actually doing the work to pay off the investment and actually providing the long term revenue (i.e. the tenant) I believe, should be able to choose the length of their tenancy within a reasonable timeframe, of say 3-5 years. I don't see a problem in a tenant ending a contract early should they wish to move on, perhaps IF they are able to find a suitable replacement themselves, or pay for the advertising through a letting agent. I would think that perfectly reasonable.

Before I go on, let me remind you that this year was the first year that private rental accommodation has grown to become the largest provider of rented properties, and the numbers involved is around 4 million people.

That "4 million" is an interesting figure. When they are providing something like 9 million homes? It really is a big boys game, isn't it? That is at least 2 houses per Landlord, or more likely, a small proportion struggling with their own personal finance, and the rest lording it up with vast portfolios.

Either way, up to 10% selling up would release nearly 1 million homes onto the market, and as I say, I think it very likely the number actually needing to rent would probably drop drastically, or it COULD, if we enabled it through sensible and sustainable plans and keep social objectives at the helm.

And re: stating THIS and THAT will happen - again no, I am suggesting and questioning how we could manipulate the kinds of outcomes I would like to see, if we had a desire to. It is your assumption that making landlordship (or whatever you like to call it) less attractive, will reduce the number of rental homes without affecting the number of those requiring a rental property. That is the biggest assumption I can see on this thread.

Btw, you ask if I am Ed Milliband, clearly I am not as I don't think he is currently facing eviction for the 3rd time in 4.5 years resulting in being placed in social housing. But since you are asking, I am interested in your background. Pardon me if I am wide of the mark, or rude to inquire, but you seem very well versed in both the subject and conservative speak, and able to lay your hands quickly on a lot of "relevant" DM info to support conservative aims, are you a politician or professionally involved in championing conservative housing policy at all?

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 16:27:52

Oh, and speaking of Lording it up, there is an interesting petition currently running on 38 degrees regarding potential conflict of interests and to “Stop two Lords who are directors of Mayfield Market Towns from building 10,000 houses on rural Sussex land turning a wildlife area into an urban, concrete sprawl.”

And, interestingly, Sussex Wildlife Trust (already quoted on this thread!) are particularly anti the development, due to it being a site of National Importance with respect to the UK Barn Owl Recovery Programme. It also is an area which straddles the River Adur Corridor – you guessed it, a flood plain!

GarlicMayonnaise Fri 30-May-14 16:32:32

How can he cap rent rises? Private landlords can charge what they like

Haven't read all posts, so am hoping someone's already pointed out that rents have always been capped until recently. Fair Rent Act.

'Killing the BTL market' will be no bad thing, imo. It's nothing but a self-imploding bubble.

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 17:28:48

Oh good Garlic. I'm glad you've come along smile

Assuming you are the usual Garlic something on these kind of threads?



GarlicMayonnaise Fri 30-May-14 17:34:26

I am that bulbous, paper-skinned poster, Hoopy, just using up the last of this month's name grin Got to bugger off for a while now, but flowers for the welcome!

JaneParker Fri 30-May-14 20:02:17

Yes, my point was that Labour's reforms are nothing. Landlords will be able to get the property back if they want to move into it (which means no security of tenure other than the current one year etc) and second rents will still go up once a year as they do now based on other local market rents - i.e. no change at all therefore I don't fear these landlord reforms at all and they will not help tenants much at all. The requirement that the landlord pay for credit checks and other charges will be added to rents so won't help tenants either.

HoopyViper Fri 30-May-14 21:30:50

You are right JaneParker, Labour's plans don't go nearly far enough.

Isitmebut Sat 31-May-14 01:35:03

HoopyViper …. So basically you are not thinking for one moment of the concerns/feasibility of the investment for those putting up their savings and taking the risks of buying and letting out properties, you are for State “manipulation” and social engineering of markets - no matter what that does to lower the availability of properties to rent for those with no other choice but to rent – who said ‘the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other peoples money’. Lol

As to your problem obtaining security of tenure in social housing you mentioned and enquiring about my life – in short I remember the 1970’s so I’m old and have globally followed politics and markets like interest rates/yields (see below) with great interest for years, so I generally know how ‘markets’ work, especially what kills them e.g. the threat of head-up-bottom thought through socialism on the private sector.

As to knowing about homes, I started life until married in council properties, and during my life I have lived in my own homes, lost them, bought a property for an elderly relation to live in and then rented it out until I got stiffed on the rent I could not afford and sold it too early, rented for several years in the private sector and rented another council home – in no particular order.

Regarding my politics, I don’t hide it, far from it, but we are not talking ideology here, we are talking cold financial realities of the effects of State controls on the Private Sector being touted as populist solutions to huge overhanging problems, that the Public Sector failed to address when it had the money and is now clumsily, nay dangerously, trying to compensate for.

Isitmebut Sat 31-May-14 01:44:33

JaneParker ….. interesting comments, thank you, so once again Miliband offers sticky plaster solutions to complicated social problems, that sounds good to the electorate.

But as his policies still needs private sector money, he is likely to deter the private sector currently investing and/or putting in new money – especially as there are other market forces for them to consider as well e.g. interest rates rising from all time (Base Rate) lows affecting profitability/yields.

A problem I see in the next few years is when UK Government Bonds and other high grade bonds, offer better annual yields for investors than those renting properties, without the rent voids, insurance costs and general crap of dealing with the day-to-day problems being a landlord throws up at you.

JaneParker Sat 31-May-14 08:53:41

Prices might stall for a bit if interest rates start to rise which may put off investors. However the pensions changes mean those with say £20k in a pension might choose to take it out as cash and put it into a buy to let (or pass it to their children as a deposit). it is hard to tell. Those who did very well in property compared to other investments tended to borrow 75% so their gains were all the more than someone putting the same basic deposit without the borrowing to buy most of the investment into say shares. It was the gearing which made the biggest difference.

Most private landlords have 1 property they rent out only and they are almost the biggest sector I think for letting out in the UK so private landlords are a huge part of the housing market in the UK.

I am not on the left but I agree that if Milliband wants to do what he seeks to achieve - drive landlords out of business and have institutions and the state letting to private tenants then he needs much more radical methods than he has proposed.

I like Boris J's suggestions this week for London's issues - perhaps build on the water - Thames; secondly allow OAPs to downsize without paying stamp duty or give them some kind of exemption from inheritance tax when they die, to free larger properties for the young to increase the supply . In London (but by no means everywhere else) there is a shortage of housing. That is not the case in much of the rest of the country.

HoopyViper Sat 31-May-14 10:33:54

Isitmebut, perhaps you could read what I post, rather than the usual Tory defense mechanism of twisting it to suit your agenda and trotting out tired old cliches, IME used only when losing the argument. There is nothing in what I have posted which relies on MORE of other people's money, but LESS, PARTICULARLY IN HOUSING BENEFIT. In fact what I am suggesting would go a long way to ensure more people have more stability and therefore ability to earn and keep money of their own to support themselves.

The problem with being a fast-buck profiteering landlord is eventually people wise up and you run out of other peoples money to pay your mortgage. What has backfired for the landlord now is that the number of voting renters far outstrips the number of landlords, which apparently only Milliband has just worked out and seen the light. We will have to wait and see whether the masses feel more strongly about this issue or Europe.

I have stated throughout that we should do more to support accidental landlords. Acknowledging the source of their plight (bad practice) would be a fine start. As I have stated over and over again, is that if a landlord is so vulnerable to short term changes, they shouldn't be in the game and their losses are their responsibility, not their tenants.

What we need to do is provide better opportunities for people to invest elsewhere, so they are not so precariously reliant on the short term instabilities which will likely always exist in the housing market. Vast profits CAN be made, but it is high risk in the short-term, and usually depends a lot on luck (and that really is what it boils down to).

Just what is wrong with buying a sensible property to let out long-term?

If you haven't put enough by to ride out the peaks and troughs, then it is not something you should be taking on, or you have to cut your losses and move on, same as any business. Do something else more useful with your money to begin with. Dave was crying out (though gone a bit quiet on it) for people to become the Big Society, let's see it.

Jane, Most private landlords have 1 property they rent out only and they are almost the biggest sector I think for letting out in the UK so private landlords are a huge part of the housing market in the UK.

Do you have any stats to back that up?

HoopyViper Sat 31-May-14 10:48:15

Regarding my politics, I don’t hide it, far from it

Is that political wriggle speak for saying yes, you are professionally involved in housing policy for the conservative party?

Crumbs. I'm not exactly missing John Hemming, but he didn't hide and made it clear who he was.

Isitmebut Sat 31-May-14 22:00:37

HoopyViper ……. May I suggest that you spend more time reconciling your opinions of what you’d ‘like’ in socialist La La Land, with cold commercial reality, rather than be so concerned about another poster’s politics/status who is both speaking common sense and qualifying their opinions, re the current dire housing situation and the commercial possibilities that can help it?

I have started/posted on many threads on Mumsnet and it is clear I have Conservative economic views over Labours, as the former is at least sustainable, the latter always takes us to economic ruin - but I have never been an MP, Member or anything else within the Conservative Party – and sole contribution over my life time, was to deliver leaflets one year before a General Election, as I moved to a constituency with a thin Labour majority.

But frankly, I am so comfortable with my views/facts, I would not care if I was debating with fricking Miliband himself, in fact the more stimulating the debate over the REALITIES, rather than La La Land the better – as posters won’t need to ‘deflect’ and personally try to discredit the other poster(s).

Isitmebut Sat 31-May-14 22:04:07

HoopyViper …. Back to Renting and what Mr Miliband and you ‘want’; there is never a bad time to tighten regulations to help tenants against bad landlords/practises, even if good landlords already think that the tenants have more rights than them – but if either of you are NOW trying to ‘socially engineer’ landlords to sell, having had Brown encourage Buy To Let for 13-years, I reiterate for the numty-teenth time, NOW is the wrong time based on REALITY.

NO ONE can argue that there is an acute lack of UK homes and shortage UK properties to rent, especially FOR THOSE WITHOUT THE OPTION to buy, whether homes were 10,20,or 30% cheaper – so any landlords selling at this time, especially due to any non commercial threats by the next Prime Minister,

There is no such La La Land condition as a standard landlord, with standardised costs/interest rate funding, with standard economic peaks and troughs, with standard investment aims and standard views for the need for 3-year Tenancy Agreements – so your ‘ifs’ are immaterial in REALITY, so keep repeating ‘ifs’ as if there was a chance a price fall and/or Miliband could ‘commercially engineer’ it as a base line for his reforms, is a nonsense, no matter how many times you repeat it – any trying will just REDUCE the available amount of rented properties.

The stupid thing is, WHAT YOU WANT re landlord professionalism, stability, durability and standard longer Tenancy Terms can, even was, going to be provided by the Private Sector via investors like pension funds who would also fund the BUILDING of more homes.

But as that link I provided confirms, the prospect of Miliband’s legislation a year from now, even in it’s current form of ‘intent’ (with heaven knows what will follow), is very likely to discourage further investment until after May 2015 and they SEE the final legislation.

HoopyViper Sat 31-May-14 23:29:20

Well at least we cleared that one up. Perhaps you can forgive my line of questioning, but I have found elements of your posts to evade, twist and patronise; traits I am sadly too familiar with in those who carry political influence.

There was a thread on here very recently about this issue (of those with political influence seeking to manipulate social media) and it sowed a seed of doubt in my mind. However I apologise if my line of questioning has offended, it was not with malicious intent, nor intent to 'deflect' or discredit unduly. I detected a sense of robustness that might withstand, and I think I am correct in that assumption.


No-one can argue there are a shortage of rental homes. This is true. I do find it interesting that we more commonly hear of this as a "housing" crisis in general, not just a "renting" crisis.

Perhaps you (or anyone else) could help me understand why it is we couldn't be confident that a good percentage of houses coming onto the market, through a reduction in the number of unstable lets, alongside more housing development, would not affect houses prices enough to enable more people who currently rent to buy? (Especially with help to buy deposit scheme etc). Therefore reducing the number needing to rent?

(No if's there, I checked wink)

Isitmebut Sun 01-Jun-14 00:45:42

HoopyViper .... re "but I have found elements of your posts to evade, twist and patronise", don't worry, I get that a lot when other posters don't want to hear the truth - especially if they keep repeating questions that I have addressed and conveniently don't want to take it in.

Re this "reduction in the number of unstable lets" you keep going on about, lets say this is both quantifiable and worthy of more State/social/housing controls, WHAT are you suggesting is done?

Who benefits from this bank or State property seizure, , other than property bargain hunters?

Who says that everyone who buys one of these homes is not CHANGING homes e.g. moving up or down the ladder, or currently living at home e.g. not renting - which just results in the reduction of rental properties?

No 'ifs', just iffy. lol

HoopyViper Sun 01-Jun-14 01:27:57

Ok I'm just going to ignore the digs, I can see it is a wasted effort.

I see quite a few (2-3 Bed) houses on the market that our reduced for the over 65s, I don't know how that works but clearly it is possible to restrict and therefore not unreasonable to query if something similar could be possible in a solution.

How about a type of repossession for those unable to offer secure lets, with resale only to buyers from rented (private or social)?

HoopyViper Sun 01-Jun-14 01:33:13

And I am never going to bow away from asking questions or challenging the status quo, or be satisfied with being told "all you need to know".

HoopyViper Sun 01-Jun-14 13:16:30

Ok, having looked a bit further (sorry if I am boring you Isitmebut, but I am going to continue with my musings for the benefit of those who are facing the REALITY of homelessness through profiteering landlords selling on a whim) reduced plans for the over 50s are part of the affordable home ownership scheme (although I do find it odd, that a lot of the ones I have seen are 2-3 bed homes, not sure that fits in terms of encouraging people to downsize, but there we go. I assume they would only be available to those with resident children under 25, possibly).

What I do wonder is whether we can make it attractive for a one off scheme for private landlords who are either shonky, don't give toss but operating entirely legally, or who do give a toss but are facing difficulties in riding the peaks and troughs (I'm not sure about what you mean around there being no standard peaks and troughs, of course there aren't, but you CAN look at how you would cope with varying levels of interest rates, plan for the worst etc instead of thinking oh well, I can always make someone homeless, and put the rent up if I want a new car/holiday of a lifetime etc) to sell to first time buyers from those in private or social housing to reduce the pressure on both. Surely the saving in housing benefit in the long term might make that worthwhile.

Clearly I am no expert and don't have easy access to the figures needed to provide you with a business plan exactly, but since you ask what I am suggesting should be done about it, I will. What needs to be done is put in place effective leadership who can assure, evidence and be open with us that SOCIAL OBJECTIVES ARE THE PRIORITY NOT PROFIT and that all possible ways of making that so are thoroughly, openly and properly assessed, rather than scoffing and ridiculing anything that isn't profit-driven. However, I may well be in la la land with that one.

There are plenty of successful Social Enterprises, these are what we should be encouraging more of.

HoopyViper Sun 01-Jun-14 13:22:10

For anyone interested:

16 May 2014

The following letter was published in the Mid Sussex Times in response to claims made by Mayfield Market Towns Ltd:

In last week’s edition you publish a report that a new 10,000 house town near Henfield and Wineham that is being promoted by developers, Mayfield Market Towns Ltd, would destroy the habitat of an important barn owl population.

The would-be developers claim that the real issue is whether their new town there would provide a better solution to delivering much needed new housing for local people. This claim perpetuates two myths - firstly, that there is an accepted local need for a new town on the southern borders of Horsham and Mid Sussex, and secondly that its proposed location is suitable and sustainable.

Neither is true. Both Horsham and Mid Sussex District Councils are in advanced stages of developing long term plans for their Districts: neither of their plans calls for any new market town to meet their Districts’ housing needs. As to location, it is difficult to envisage somewhere less suited to a mega-development than the lovely open countryside around Wineham with no significant local unemployment, with no road, rail or other infrastructure, and on low lying fields prone to flooding from the Adur. Not to mention the barn owls, nightingales and other wonderful wildlife.

We challenge Mayfield to publish the ecological and flood reports that it claims to have commissioned so that we can all judge for ourselves.

Michael Brown
Trustee, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Sussex Branch

GarlicMayonnaise Sun 01-Jun-14 13:50:15

I'm reading!

HoopyViper Sun 01-Jun-14 14:19:40


Isitmebut Mon 02-Jun-14 15:33:40

HoopyViper .... re your quotes below;

"How about a type of repossession for those unable to offer secure lets, with resale only to buyers from rented (private or social)?"

"And I am never going to bow away from asking questions or challenging the status quo, or be satisfied with being told "all you need to know"."

FYI I'm the same, hence I like to look at what was, what is being promised, and adding some factual balance to show what is commercially/practically possible and what isn't e.g. without and with State Controls that if results in current landlords to sell (reducing available rental stock) and discourages institutional investors to build and rent to provide the rental conditions YOU want, DO make matters worse.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now